The ontological status of minimal entities

Philosophical Studies 141 (1):97 - 114 (2008)
Minimal entities are, roughly, those that fall under notions defined by only deflationary principles. In this paper I provide an accurate characterization of two types of minimal entities: minimal properties and minimal facts. This characterization is inspired by both Schiffer's notion of a pleonastic entity and Horwich's notion of minimal truth. I argue that we are committed to the existence of minimal properties and minimal facts according to a deflationary notion of existence, and that the appeal to the inferential role reading of the quantifiers does not dismiss this commitment. I also argue that deflationary existence is language-dependent existence—this clarifies why minimalists about properties and facts are not realists about these entities though their language may appear indistinguishable from the language of realists
Keywords Minimalism  Minimal entities  Properties  Facts  Internal quantification  Deflationary existence  Horwich  Hofweber  Schiffer
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DOI 10.2307/27734317
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Paul Horwich (2005). Truth. In Frank Jackson & Michael Smith (eds.), Erkenntnis. Oxford University Press 261-272.

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